[Podcast] Finnish Football Show 33: Nations League Preview, KuPS In Europe, Veikkausliiga Update

In this episode, we will look forward to this week’s Nations League fixtures. There are two home games for the Huuhkajat, who take on Bulgaria and Ireland, before two away games in November.

We will also glory and commiserate with Rich, about the progress of KuPS Kuopio in Europe. We’ll discuss their performances in both the Champions League and the Europa League.

Finally, we’ll close the show with an overview of the recent action and current league positions in the Veikkausliiga, with teams having played about 18 games of 22, in the regular season, before it splits into two closing series; the Mestaruussarja (Championship series) and the Haastajasarja (Challenger series).

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[Podcast] Finnish Football Show 32: Finland Into Europe – New Huuhkajat Kit, Europa/Champions/Nations Leagues

The FFS team has a full squad to select from this week, and no difficult selection problems EVERYONE can play. This is a special occasion too, because we promised an episode between the European clubs games and the Nations League and that is EXACTLY what you are going to get. So, for once, I have nothing to apologise for. At least, not at the start – that may have changed by the end of the show!

We will be joined today by a returning special guest. Mikko Laitinen from the Finnish FA (Palloliitto) has come to tell us about the new Finland national team kit that was launched today! We will then look forward to the upcoming Nations League matches for Finland. We will also discuss the recent games in the Champions League and Europa League for Finnish club sides. And we’ll wrap everything up with a brief summary of the position in the Veikkausliiga.

We’ve also brought back our regular features ‘Ja sillä sipuli’ and ‘Following’ so we really DO have a full team. So, if you’re ready gents, let’s get going…

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[Podcast] Finnish Football Show 31 – Veikkausliiga 2020: Predictions and Reality (After 7 Games!)

In this episode, the FFS team is missing one or two key players. Not because of injury or poor form, but because of holidays. Mark has a had a challenging summer and is taking a well-earned break. Similarly, Keke seems to have ventured overseas for a family vacation.

We didn’t want to keep you waiting any longer, so this episode is Mark W and Rich, possibly joined by Keke. We will discuss our recent predictions competition (if a survey that collects answers but offers no prize can be called a competition!) We will then look at how the opening 7 rounds of Veikkausliiga action has panned-out. Who is leading the table? Who has already fallen behind? And why does Rich keep trolling me about the form of SJK?

I have to also give a shout out to Kevin Cumming in our Facebook group. He found us recently and has listened to the entire back catalogue. Kevin – you are clearly bored during lockodown or a superfan or a lunatic, but THANK YOU! You can read Kevin’s full review of five-and-a-half shambolic years here https://www.facebook.com/groups/FinnishFootballShow/permalink/2628245217275512/

This show was yet again pulled together at the last minute so, once again, we won’t have all the usual features this time. We’ll bring back ‘Ja sillä sipuli’ and ‘Following’ next time we have a full team.

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[Podcast] In Conversation with… Aki Riihilahti

[Show Notes] Keke & Mark W are joined by a legend of Finnish football, Aki Riihilahti. Aki takes us back down memory lane for a fascinating conversation about his playing career at HJK Helsinki and Crystal Palace, as well as behind-the-scenes in his current role as CEO at HJK.

Learn how Aki once broke Keke’s heart 💔 (and that he’s not sorry about it), how his work with the European Clubs Association gives him so much satisfaction and why he’s added ‘Toilet Paper Delivery Driver’ to his CV.

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[Podcast] Finnish Football Show 30 – Suomen Cup | Closed-Season Transfers | 3rd Kits | Fans In Stadiums

In this episode, I hope we’ll get back to something like normal. Wait, wait, don’t all switch off or skip to the next show in your podcast player. Surely YOU are gagging for football as much as we are?! We recorded this in the first week of June 2020 and there are a couple of key dates coming up in the near future; the Veikkausliiga is due to kick off from the 1st July and the Suomen Cup has matches scheduled from 16th June. 

We look at those Suomen Cup fixtures and then start to prepare for the Veikkausliiga kick off, by looking at the transfers that have taken place during the extended closed season. All EIGHT months of it! 😫 This show was pulled together all of a sudden (with two weeks planning!) but we won’t have all the usual features this time. We’ll bring back ‘Ja sillä sipuli’ and ‘Following’ next time, we promise.

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[Podcast] Behind the Quarantine: The Football Agent

Mark W speaks to Chris Cleaver, the British football agent at Scandinavian FI OÜ Player Agency. Chris is the former captain & first team coach of SJK Seinäjoki in Finland. He talks about his playing career in Finland, bookended with spells in Seinäjoki, before explaining about the transition to becoming an agent and how this has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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[Podcast] Finnish Football Show 29 – Mikko Laitinen from Suomen Palloliitto | ‘Season’s Most Important Game’ campaign | Veikkausliiga to start on 1st July?

Yes, we know, it’s been ages since the last show, but this time it really ISN’T our fault. There’s been this virus thing, you see. This episode is something a little different. Firtsly, it’s only Mark W & Keke, but this time we are joined by a very special guest, Mikko Laitinen, Marketing Manager at Suomen Palloliitto – the Finnish Football Association.

Mikko talks to us about financial challenges within Finnish football and, conversely, the commercial opportunities offered by the impressive performances of the Huuhkajat. Mikko also explained the background to the “Kauden tärkein ottelu” (the Season’s Most Important Game) campaign, which enables fans to support Finnish football during this difficult time. Encouragingly, the start of the 2020 Veikkausliiga season was also announced on 6.5.2020, the day of the recording, so of course we talked about that too.

Buy tickets for the Kauden tärkein ottelu” (the Season’s Most Important Game) campaign

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[Podcast] Behind the Quarantine: The Sporting Director

Rich speaks to Jonne Lindblom, a former agent and now the Sporting Director of KuPS Kuopio in Finland. Jonne explains how KuPS is helping its players maintain fitness during the COVID-19 pandemic. He looks at the challenge the corona virus poses for new manager, Arne Erlandsen, to communicate his ideas to the team, as they prepare for the defence of the Veikkausliiga title they won in 2019 – whenever that defence might start!

Jonne tells about his role as Sporting Director (handling recruitment, scouting, player contracts and agents). He also gives some insight into his close involvement, as an agent, in the rise of Alfredo Morelos. Then he looks forward to future plans for a new stadium in Kuopio and his determination to develop the KuPS Academy, so it provides more players for the first team squad.

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[Podcast] Behind the Quarantine: The 1st Team Coach

Mark W talks to SJK Seinäjoki’s new 1st Team Coach, Joaquin Gomez about his bold move from Spain to the UK and dramatic rise, as a coach and assistant manager, through the Football League (EFL). We talk about how meeting Sami Hyypiä and Antti Niemi, later led to opportunities to become coach for Finland U21s and, latterly, SJK. Finally, he explains how they are keeping the SJK players fit, physically and mentally, during this period of uncertainty.

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